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Water Quality and Quantity Issues, News and Updates
Water, water everywhere --- and not a drop to drink...”
(from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Water – Quality & Quantity – A Very Hot Topic
Updated January 2011
“Demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by a staggering 40 percent by 2030, and an estimated half the world’s population are likely to live in areas of high water stress by the same year” -- so states Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project in the CDP Water Disclosure 2010 Global Report. The situation is getting worse rather than getting better. The pressures of over-population, climate change and increased use per capita are all causing water stresses, although unevenly, throughout the globe.
Current impacted areas in the news include the Southwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States; China; India; Ireland; the Middle East region; Australia; and many countries in Africa. The threat has been recognized and throughout the globe and governments, corporations and activists groups are bringing the problem to the forefront and helping to craft and influence both short and long term solutions.
Since this section was first created in 1998, the editors have screened tens of thousands of articles and posted almost 1,000 stories, commentaries and reports. Water – quality and quantity is continuing to be a Hot Topic for AC readers. As many pundits are saying…water is becoming the new carbon.
In 2006 the United Nations World Water Development Report described the state of water on our planet as a “crisis of governance.” While the world appears to have enough fresh water supply today, the issue is one of governance, as in water distribution, management and quality control practices. Water quality appears to be degrading in many areas, our monitoring tells us, and water quantity (supply) is a huge issue in many of the world’s regions.
Due to a number of factors -- mismanagement, limited area resources, and environmental changes, some caused by climate change -- almost one-fifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent of the world’s population lacks access to basic sanitation. Access to water is further restricted by national and governmental entities that regulate where the water flows, who has access and for what purpose the water is used.
Water is also used as an economic, health and environmental weapon by the “haves” over the “have-nots.” Governments “determine who gets what water, when and how, and decide who has the right to water and related services,” said the report authors. Water availability is also related to a range of issues intimately connected to water, from health and food security to economic development, land use, and the preservation of the natural ecosystems on which the water resources depend.
Water quality is declining in most regions of the Earth. Regional over- population, increased industrialization, absence of proper waste water treatment -- are all contributing to the emerging crisis. Poor water quality is a key cause of poor livelihood and health. An estimated 1.6 million lives (directly or indirectly connected to water quality issues and their related diseases) could be saved each year by providing more access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to the world’s poorest regions.
Access to water is not only a Third World or emerging nations’ issue -- droughts in the U.S. Southeast and quantity issues in the Southwest and in California have brought conservation, control and distribution issues to the public’s attention in the past few years. Water in the United States is a key factor to residential and commercial development, economic stability and job growth – all issues which effect local and regional communities’ economic well-being. Water in the USA is critical to the health of agriculture and related industries. Corporations are in the spotlight for their use of water – advocates and third party researchers are developing “water footprints” (similar to “carbon footprints”) for leading companies, such as Coca Cola, Nestle and other water-intensive industries and sectors.
The Editors of Accountability Central work to bring the many facets of Water issues -- especially quality and quantity -- into focus with news, commentary and research. Education on the issues, public discussion and rising concern can help to bring about real and positive changes and sensible and fair solutions to the problems at hand. Perhaps this public forum can help in some small way. The Institute maintains a robust focus on water issues and the key players in its subscription Web-accessed knowledge management platform Sustainability HQ – click here for more information:www.sustainabilityhq.com.
Latest on Water - Quality & Quantity
January 2, 2014 Moratorium insufficient protection from frackingSource: The Southern
The following is an open letter to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which has been holding public hearings about fracking. My name is David E. Christensen. I am a retired geography professor. I received my Masters...
Source: International Business Times
Starting Monday, Californians can expect high tides to reach higher than normal. The arrival of the West Coast’s annual “king tides,” a twice-yearly phenomenon that brings occasional flooding, signals the alignment of the sun and...
December 30, 2013 Study: Few Americans understand frackingSource: Star Tribune
Fracking is a buzz word, but few Americans know what it actually means. That is the conclusion of a recent survey published by researchers at Oregon State, George Mason and Yale universities.
December 30, 2013 Aussie Scientists May Have Solved the Global Water Shortage Crisis
thediplomat.com - âTheir salinity is low due to which they can be easily converted into drinking water.â According to the îWorld Water Councilî, 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water. In...
Source: Sydney Morning News
Iron concentrations in a rivulet that feeds the Woronora Reservoir have doubled since the expansion of the Metropolitan Colliery, to levels which exceed Australian Drinking Water Guidelines by 30 per cent, a study has found.
markets.financialcontent.com - As input to the United Nations General Assembly later this month, the îStockholm International Water Instituteî (SIWI) presented the Stockholm Statement during the closing ceremony of...
December 27, 2013 Study: Fracking saves waterSource: Daily Caller
Hydraulic fracturing conserves water compared to other energy-generation methods, according to a recent study that undermines claims by fracking opponents. Bridget Scanlon and a team of researchers at the Bureau of Economic...
December 26, 2013 For crops, water shortage could double effect of climate changeSource: Futurity
Shortages of freshwater used for irrigation may double the detrimental effects of climate change on agriculture, according to a new analysis that combines climate, agricultural, and hydrological models. Researchers say a warmer...
marketwired.com - Margaret Catley-Carlson, Patron, îGlobal Water Partnershipî on the big picture of agriculture and food production Honourable Michael Miltenberger, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, and...
December 24, 2013 Desalination is the answer to water shortageSource: Orlando Sentinel
At a recent Central Florida Water Initiative public meeting in Clermont, the group's spokesperson laid out a vision for dealing with the fast-approaching water shortage. The spokesperson mentioned numerous groundwater and...
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